It was close to my birthday. Holding a present untidily wrapped with tape all over, my little one came up to me. It was his favorite red toy truck that he wanted to give Mommy. My heart instantly melted on seeing those pure, undiluted feelings. Now 20 years later, I am still recounting the incident. It’s all because mothers are touched by the simplest and the tiniest of things that their kids do for them. They can act rather silly and narrate those episodes over and over again, giving little thought that someone else might be bored with that repetition!
With a 24 year-old who is the apple of my eye, I can now literally place myself in my mother’s shoes. She might have experienced exactly the same emotions as I do now. I do not need an occasion like Mother’s Day to reminisce about my moments with my mother. The relationship transcends time, yet I choose this day to pen my thoughts and dedicate a post to my mother and all other mothers. There is a commonality in most moms. Basically, they are made out of the same stuff. They are so engulfed by the love for their children that their emotions overflow the brim.
In a seminar I had once attended, a college counselor came up with a piece of advice for prospective students. He said, “While applying to universities, do not get your personal essays read by your mother. You will not get an accurate feedback because almost anything and everything you write will make her cry!” It is perhaps true because often mommies have their hearts ruling over their heads.
How can I possibly chronicle every bit and piece of this story when there is so much to say? I share just a few of those slides imprinted in my mind. It is a beautiful journey down memory lane, but strangely, everything seems to have happened not too long ago. As I recapitulate those moments, I feel they are happening in the present.
She felt my pain
I had tossed and turned throughout the night. Every time I opened my eyes, I felt my mother’s soft, anxious gaze on me because she had not slept a wink. Hiding her tiredness beneath her smile, she would heave a sigh of relief when the fever would finally leave me! She had always felt my pain as if it was her own. Now when my child falls ill, I can’t stop being worried, and I fully understand what Ma had gone through.
I fell for for my mother’s tricks
Moms have the aptitude for lying with artistic perfection, and most of the time, they emerge as winners. My mother’s voice would ring loud: “Wake up; it’s past seven!” With a thump I would sit up in bed. Looking at the clock, I would discover that it’s just six in the morning. That’s the strategy she used almost everyday to make me wake up early, yet I fell for her trick over and over again. I confess that I have tried this out with my boy, but I have met with very little success!
The gospels were so much a part of the routine
There were some rather annoying moments when I had to hear lectures about keeping my room tidy, maintaining regular study hours, and not depending on others to do my work. I am now grateful for those sermons because in some way or another, I have learned the importance of time management and self-discipline. As a parent, I realize that one does not have to be sweet all the time. It is important to understand that while giving freedom to our children, we also need to set the guidelines although they may taste very bitter at times.
Learning the language of love
I grew up in a house where we would have guests all the time, sometimes at odd hours. This definitely had a toll on my mother. But whoever visited us always left with the feeling that they were loved and welcomed. If I have learned any lessons about empathy and acceptance, I have definitely learned them from Ma.
In a different avatar now and with the rules changed
For more than two-and-a-half decades now, my mother has been in an additional role, and I believe she enjoys that more than her previous one. Being a grandmother to 4 kids is a job she has taken up more seriously than required. The parenting recipe has also changed quite a bit, with leniency and kindness being administered in more doses and strictness in lesser amounts. The sugar and spice are undoubtedly in the right proportions to make her feature among the list of favorites.
I am calling it a day after recollecting these snapshots that instantly came to my mind. The relationship we share with our mothers is timeless and based on the edifices of unconditional love. Here’s a quote from Washington Irving that has always struck a chord with me:
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
Here’s to wishing Ma and all other moms around the world a very happy Mother’s Day!!!!